Depolarization of multidomain ferroelectric materials

Dong Zhao*, Thomas Lenz, Gerwin H. Gelinck, Pim Groen, Dragan Damjanovic, Dago M. de Leeuw, Ilias Katsouras

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)
144 Downloads (Pure)


Depolarization in ferroelectric materials has been studied since the 1970s, albeit quasi-statically. The dynamics are described by the empirical Merz law, which gives the polarization switching time as a function of electric field, normalized to the so-called activation field. The Merz law has been used for decades; its origin as domain-wall depinning has recently been corroborated by molecular dynamics simulations. Here we experimentally investigate domain-wall depinning by measuring the dynamics of depolarization. We find that the boundary between thermodynamically stable and depolarizing regimes can be described by a single constant, Pr0εferroEc. Among different multidomain ferroelectric materials the values of coercive field, Ec, dielectric constant, εferro, and remanent polarization, Pr, vary by orders of magnitude; the value for Pr0εferroEc however is comparable, about 15. Using this extracted universal value, we show that the depolarization field is similar to the activation field, which corresponds to the transition from creep to domain-wall flow.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2547
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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